Ari Melber (Politico):
Outrage is back — and long overdue. Now, what to do with it?
First, tune out the self-interested lectures from all those guilty elites who tell taxpayers to “stay calm” while the greedy gorge on our money. Thieves don’t usually make good therapists.
Then, let’s channel this backlash into more than crisis-driven policymaking. The American International Group bonus uproar can drive structural change — from strengthening genuine shareholder authority to forcing transparency on the legislative process — to stop politicians from voting in public and reversing themselves in secret. (Some of these ideas are finally in motion.)
Even as Congress finds its taste for accountability and reform, however, there is another key task for policymakers — and the media.
Let’s recognize some of the people who got these issues right from the beginning. Many were ignored — or worse, vilified. They deserve our attention and respect. We might even learn something from them.
Noting that those who “cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” Dorgan closed his speech with a warning eerie in its prescience. For once, the reformer gets the last word:
“With respect to the regulation of risky hedge funds and derivatives in this country — $33 trillion, a substantial amount of it held by the 25 largest banks in this country ... — we must do something to address those issues. That kind of risk overhanging the financial institutions of this country one day, with a thud, will wake everyone up and lead them to ask the question: Why didn’t we understand that we had to do something about that? How on earth could we have thought that would continue to exist without a massive problem for the American people and for its financial system?”